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Meet Shreyas Thiagaraj: The Fast Interview

 

Shreyas Thiagaraj, tech lead manager at Fast

Name: Shreyas Thiagaraj

Role: Tech Lead Manager

Team: Mobile

What do you do at Fast?

I work on mobile initiatives – specifically, the mobile SDK which enables Fast Checkout to be integrated with a seller’s mobile application.

Describe your typical day at Fast.

I wake up early, review leftover work items, and create a to-do list for the day. I try to get as much done as I can before everyone else wakes up. After my gym and lunch break, my colleagues on the West Coast are starting their day. The rest of the day involves meetings, unblocking teammates as needed, reviewing pull requests, and prepping tasks for the next day.

Where were you before Fast?

At a crypto startup, building developer tools for decentralized mobile apps.

Why did you say yes to Fast?

I first heard of Fast while looking into Stripe, which led our Series A and B funding rounds. Digging in, I found a fintech company with an incredible team working in a huge, rapidly-growing market (e-commerce). The Fast Flex (work remotely) policy sealed the deal.

Where did you grow up and what were you like as a kid?

I grew up in India, the Middle East, and the Midwestern United States. I’ve always been interested in building and inventing new things. I was an avid gamer as a kid, and had an itch to figure out how game consoles and electronics worked. That led me to an Electrical Engineering major in University, which ultimately led me to software engineering.

What was your first job?

Working at a café in a hospital; one of my favorite jobs to date.

What are Fast engineers doing that stands out?

We think long-term, and build for the current and future growth of our product and organization. We’re very collaborative and employ a blameless culture, as we’re focused on finding solutions and improving our processes rather than fixating on problems.

How is your desk set up?

A standing desk with a footrest, ultra-wide curved LCD monitor, wireless magic keyboard, and mouse.

Proudest moment as an engineer?

I once built a voice chat app optimized for “VoiceOver” mode, which is how visually impaired people use smartphones. It helped thousands of blind or nearly blind users connect with friends and family with ease, and resulted in many messages of thanks sent directly to me.

Favorite thing about being an engineer?

Creating new things!

Morning person or night owl?

Both.

What career path did you almost take?

Dentistry. My dentist was always in good spirits, and everybody needs their teeth cleaned. Pretty quickly I realized I can’t deal with bad breath.

What’s something you regularly do, but know you shouldn't?

Opening my phone in the morning before getting out of bed.

Your non-negotiables for life?

Stay curious!

One thing about you that has been and will always be true?

I have a large appetite for risk.

What advice would you, the engineer today, give the you first starting out?

Work on stuff you find interesting – it’s that simple.

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